(This piece was written by Matt McGuirk.)
The 2015 NHL Draft fetched the Bruins a lot of talented prospects, and many of them are in the midst their first professional seasons.
First-round picks Jakub Zboril and Zach Senyshyn are getting regular reps in Providence, along with second- and fourth-rounders Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson and Jesse Gabrielle.
However, one pick from the 2015 draft who is often the forgotten man in prospect discussions is Jeremy Lauzon.
Lauzon was drafted 52nd overall in that draft, having put up 36 points in a breakout 2014-2015 season for the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies of the QMJHL.
The skilled defenseman went on to put up 50 points during the following season, captained Rouyn-Noranda during the 2016-2017 season and represented Canada at the World Junior tournament, where he scored two goals and recorded an assist.
The P-Bruins added him to their roster last April, but the blueliner didn’t see any game action.
The Boston Bruins had an open spot on defense during the 2017 preseason. Rob O’Gara and Matt Grzelcyk both competed hard for it, but Lauzon put up a good fight as well.
Grzelcyk ended up getting the nod, although he only lasted one game before Torey Krug was cleared to play. However, Lauzon’s effort during training camp should not go unnoticed. Lauzon carried himself very well in the preseason games in which he appeared, and even scored against Chicago on a nice shot from the blue line.
Through eight games in Providence, Lauzon has looked really good. He may only have an assist, but he’s a plus-6 and has been reliable in the defensive zone. He is aggressive along the boards and in the corners, and does a good job cleaning up in front of the net.
Also, for a player who might not look like a hard-hitting guy, Lauzon has not shied away from throwing his body around. Speaking of toughness, Lauzon dropped the gloves with Kevin Rooney of the Binghamton Devils on October 27, getting the takedown in what was a pretty decent scrap.
Sure, Lauzon still has a long way to go before solidifying himself as an everyday NHL defenseman. Boston has plenty of NHL-caliber defensemen on its roster and it won’t be easy for Lauzon (or any other blueliner in the system) to claim a spot with the big club any time soon.
With that said, the start of Lauzon’s professional career has been promising. His solid showing in the preseason came as a surprise to many people, and he has been a bright spot early on for the P-Bruins. He was closer to making Boston’s roster than most fans think.
Lauzon will get his chance to shine in Boston someday, and if he keeps improving game after game in Providence, the opportunity might come sooner rather than later.